Home care allows seniors and others who need daily care to remain at home — comfortable, independent, and close to their families. But a home care plan needs to be thought through carefully, because a home care plan’s success or failure can be so very important to yours or your loved one’s happiness and well-being.

When creating a home care plan, don’t just think about what you can afford. Budgeting is important, but you also need to consider what aspects of daily life mean the most to you or your loved one, so you can forge a home care plan that truly creates room for joy and happiness. Look for a qualified home health care aide, but remember to stay involved in your loved one’s care.

Why You Should Choose Home Care

The choice between home care and a residential nursing facility can be a tough one, but if at all possible, you should choose home care. Home care allows your loved one to stay in familiar surroundings, among the people he or she cares about, and in the home that he or she has loved for years or decades. Besides, transitioning into a care facility can cause regression, a phenomenon in which a relatively healthy patient moves into a facility and begins a hasty decline. A home care plan that allows your loved one to stay at home can protect his or her health, independence, and relationships with family, friends, and neighbors. Home care also brings one or more friendly, caring individuals into your loved one’s life, increasing his or her social circle.

Consider What You Need From Home Care

As you sit down to make your home care plan, consider how you or your loved one wants to live. Think about what makes you or your loved one happy; what activities bring meaning to your or their life? On the flip side, what’s missing from yours or your loved one’s life? Is there anything that could be done to improve the quality of daily life? What services or support do you or your loved one need to remain happy, safe, and healthy at home? At what times of day is support most needed? Is help with the activities of daily living sufficient, or do you or your loved one also need medical support and care?

Once you have answered these questions, you’ll be better able to craft a home care plan that works for you. A successful home care plan should allow you or your loved one to experience those things that make life meaningful, enjoyable, and worthwhile on a day-to-day basis, as well providing for basic needs. Then you’ll be able to make important decisions regarding the details of the services you or your loved one will receive, who will provide them, and on what schedule. By sitting down first to determine what’s most important to you or your loved one, you’ll be able to formulate a plan that works with your home care budget.

Find Qualified Help

Caring for a loved one in the home is a huge job, and it’s not something that most people can tackle without professional assistance. Find a home care worker through a qualified agency. You may also ask for referrals from friends, neighbors, or community members who are also caring for loved ones in the home. See if the home care worker and agency use home health software that enables everyone involved to stay on the same page regarding treatment, medication, and more.

When considering whether to hire a specific home care worker, ask him or her about his or her job history, references, reason for working in the home care field, and special training or certifications. For example, you may want a home care worker who is specially trained to work with Alzheimer or dementia patients. Don’t be afraid to ask about the home care worker’s background, especially legal problems.

You should also give the agency or home care worker an accurate picture of what to expect from the job. Describe the needs of the person to be cared for, his or her likes and dislikes, health problems, and expectations. Be honest and upfront about the duties a home care worker will be expected to perform in yours or your loved one’s home.

It can be a good idea to give a new home care worker a month-long trial period to see if he or she is a good match with you or your loved one. This can ensure that the home care worker will get along with you, your loved one, and other family members, and that the person being cared for will enjoy the worker’s company. Remember, companionship is often a big part of what a home care worker provides for his or her patients.

A good home care plan can enable you or your loved one to remain independent even when performing the activities of daily living becomes difficult. Take the time to think about what’s needed and create a home care plan that accounts for emotional as well as physical needs. With the help of a qualified home care worker and a little foresight, you or your loved one can enjoy many happy years living at home.

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